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  • Stay Away from SOILED Cash, they can give You DEADLY Bugs!

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    THOSE grubby notes we simply love are harbingers of infection, reveals a Mumbai- based health laboratory. The study conducted by Equinox Lab found Indian currency notes contaminated with deadly bugs like coliform, E. coli and staphylococcus, which can cause deadly infections.

    The laboratory examined the notes and coins picked up randomly from the streets of Mumbai for five microbiological parameters.

    Traces of coliform, E. coli, staphylococcus and seudomonas aureus were found on the notes. However, they didn’t find shigella and salmonella on the notes, probably because of a very small sample size. “The lab tested notes of all denominations, from `2 to `1000, and found microorganisms more on the notes of lower denominations than on `1000 notes as they don’t change so many hands every day. We also didn’t find microbes on the coins,” says Ashwin Bhadri, head of business relations, Equinox Lab, which conducts hygiene audits and monitors water and food quality.

    The `10 and `50 notes carried E coli, coliform, staphylococcus and pseudomonas, whereas `2 and `5 notes had E. coli and coliform.

    “All these are very stubborn bugs which can thrive on dry surfaces and can cause severe infections, especially in those with weakened immunity.

    They are passed over from one person to another through shared articles like currency notes and hand towels,”Dr (Col) S. Thakur, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Moolchand Medcity, said.

    These bugs can cause a variety of stomach ailments but once into the blood, can also lead to more severe problems. While stapylococcus is known to cause skin infections, pseudomonas attacks the elderly or people with suppressed immunity or recovering from a surgery.

    A few months back, a study conducted at the Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore found drug- resistant bacteria on notes and coins. The study examined the notes and coins picked up from street vendors, shopkeepers and passers- by in Mangalore.

    All 25 notes and 24 out of 25 coins were contaminated with lethal strains of bacteria like MRSA, klebsiella, E. coli and enterobacter, which can cause severe gastric and respiratory diseases.

    “The drug- resistant bacteria usually acquired in hospitals are now being found in the community because in our country people don’t practice hand hygiene when they meet patients in ICUs,” Dr Thakur said.